I am heading into the second year with a totally different approach of making games. I am not going to get lost with pie in the sky grand designs and some artistic magnum opus, but try to pick the most basic features and sets that can make a game interesting.
And as a first go, I have stripped just about all the complexities from my game and created a level with a random maze generator. The navigation agent will automatically find the path through the maze, so that is no fun. But what if I add limits to the machines power and limit the distance the navigation agent can actually solve for you. You are forced to traverse the maze in an un-optimal manner to be able to have enough juice to finish it. Then I add some random gold pieces and carrots for you to try and get higher rewards and I have a basic silly game. When the mix of those start to get interesting, I can look at introducing my more complicated mechanics and spending more time on the graphical look of what I have.
But if it is fun enough with the most simple ideas, then that should just be the game. Then I will move onto the next one, and the next, … etc. Making whatever game would be fun to make and play.
I think the worst approach to making something of your own, is relying on motivation as a key to keep working. Fuck motivation. Use discipline and get personally invested. Motivation is a common word for those that are waiting for the stars to align before the dive into investing themselves.
Just as with your software, your big ideas should be put to a series of tests. If you invest too much into grand schemes and big ideas that you have not tested, chances are that you will never see if they really work because you can’t afford to see them fail.
I will be busy working on my game over the weekend, adding those few items I had mentioned, then I will pass it onto some friends to test.